Leading with empathy and a will to win: Gen. Minihan addresses the 2024 Logistics Officers Association Symposium and presents OAR Medals

  • Published
  • By Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of Air Mobility Command, spoke during the 2024 Logistics Officers Association Symposium as a keynote speaker Thursday morning.

During his speech, Minihan delivered the state of air mobility and the importance of interoperability with the larger logistics enterprise.

“We’re here to put a joint and coalition team in a position of advantage so they can be lethal,” said Minihan.

He expressed the importance of generating leadership and the key traits of leadership such as integrity of character, sense of responsibility, and emotional stability. Minihan compared leading Airmen with being a coach. “A strong leader is firm, fair, takes action from a position of love, and they want to win.”

Minihan noted how the Air Force Manual (AFMAN) 35-15, published in 1948, was filled with words like love, belonging and fear. Words that no longer exist in modern guidance. The generation that wrote this manual “knew what it meant to lead in combat when it’s going horrifically bad [and] knew exactly what it took for a generation to commit themselves fully to the ideals of this nation. These are the same [initiatives] that will guide us should a future fight come,” he said.

He emphasized how logistics will be the difference between winning and losing. “Over the next few years, logisticians will play a crucial role in leadership as they lead Airmen who are pivotal in the maneuver of the Joint Force.,” said Minihan. “We’re just going to do our job as best as we can to make a positive impact on the most people that we can.”

During his keynote, Minihan also presented decorations to four Airmen for their actions during Operation Allies Refuge in Al Udeid, Qatar.

  • TSgt Tara Repose, 514 Security Forces Squadron, Raven; Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat Device
  • TSgt Joshua Cramer, 822 Base Defense Squadron, Raven; Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat Device
  • MSgt Elrico Edwards, 512 Airlift Wing, Crew Chief; Air Medal with Combat Device
  • SSgt Vincent Brooks, 305 Maintenance Squadron, Crew Chief; Air Medal with Valor Device


“In case you missed it, two crew chiefs just earned air medals, and two cops just earned distinguished flying crosses. The point is, it takes all of us to do the mission,” exclaimed Minihan.